Highmark selects Verizon and Accenture to develop health information exchange to enhance patient care

By Telecom Lead Team: Highmark announced its agreement
with Verizon Enterprise Solutions to deploy and manage the technology
infrastructure for the first nationwide health information exchange.

The exchange will soon link health care organizations
across western Pennsylvania that serve millions of people.  Highmark also
plans to extend its HIE across the state over the next two years. 

Highmark HIE will be powered by the Verizon Health
Information Exchange, an interoperable health IT platform. The cloud
platform consolidates patient clinical data from disparate providers and translates
the information into a standardized format for secure access over the Web,
offering health care professionals an effective way to obtain a more complete
view of a patient’s health history. 

The platform uses strong identity-access-management
controls to provide security for sensitive patient information and enables
members to retain their existing systems, processes and workflows, thereby
reducing the need for additional capital expenditures. 

Highmark also has leveraged the expertise of Accenture to
assist health care providers with connecting to Highmark’s HIE, which has been
in development for the past 18 months.

The first health care organization to join the Highmark
project is West Penn Allegheny Health System consisting of Allegheny General
Hospital, Allegheny Valley Hospital, Canonsburg General Hospital, Forbes
Regional Hospital and Western Pennsylvania Hospital. 

“At the very core of this HIE is improved patient
care, and that’s the foundation of what our customers want from us and their
care providers. It’s about working collaboratively as a health care community
and using the available health care data to provide the best possible
care,” said Deborah L. Rice, Highmark’s executive vice president of health

Health care organizations are using HIEs to overcome the
long-standing obstacle of incompatible health IT platforms and software used to
store patient data. By facilitating the secure and compliant retrieval and
sharing of patient clinical data among participating hospitals, clinics,
physician practices and health care plans, the technology helps enable the
quality, safety and efficiency of patient care.

“Health information exchanges address many of the
interoperability, security and compliance issues that have long impeded the
sharing of digital clinical information across the health care ecosystem,”
said Peter Tippett, vice president and chief medical officer, Verizon Connected
Healthcare Solutions, the company’s health IT practice group. 

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